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Former NOPD Chief says Cantrell failed to pay settlement, files to reopen lawsuit

The terms of the settlement were not released, but Riley was seeking $700,000 in damages.

NEW ORLEANS — A lawsuit against the Cantrell administration that was settled last month could be reopened after the mayor allegedly failed to pay the settlement on time.

One month ago, former police chief Warren Riley and Mayor LaToya Cantrell reached an agreement to settle a case claiming Cantrell yanked a job offer to him in 2018.

According to a motion filed by Riley, Cantrell didn't keep her promise to fulfill the settlement. Now, he's moving to reopen the case.

"It is a substantial injustice to allow the Defendant, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, to break her word, yet again, at Mr. Riley’s expense," the motion says. 

Riley was in line to become Cantrell's director of public safety and homeland security until public outcry scuttled that plan.

In announcing that she would not hire Riley, the mayor said she changed her mind after getting blow-back from those who said his oversight of investigations into police killings after Hurricane Katrina were too weak and should have disqualified him from the job.

Riley joined the NOPD in 1981 and was named superintendent in September 2005 in the dark days after Katrina. He retired in May 2010.

In the lawsuit, Riley claims that Cantrell's decision to cancel his job offer cost him another job that paid $170,000-a-year.

The case was originally settled roughly three weeks before the case was set to go to trial. The terms of that settlement were not released, but Riley was seeking $700,000 in damages.

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